With a lab at home the relation between artist and laser will be so to say intimate; being dependent of other labs limits the time, intensity and sort of experiments and finally the quantity of the works; the technical equipment definitely influences the art. As a consequence, the inventions of an artist with laser at home differ from those of an artist like me, who is traveling to labs, in concept, technology and realisation. As a lot has been written about the philosophical implications of art holography I want to emphasize the genesis and the circumstances of my art holography to characterize their aesthetics independent of the year.

I take into account the change of site: it makes a 100% difference whether you give a talk in the "closed-circuit-installation" of art holographers in Nottingham or in the "mesh of an INTERnet".

I worked many years with reflection holography before I went over to holographic optical elements (HOE). I was lucky from the beginning, because the first holograms were made with a pulsed laser, ten minutes by bike away from my studio in Cologne. Therefore I could use "impossible" materials for the models like sheets of thin metal or even paper irrespective of any nanometer movement. The small sculptures were painted black, white and silver to change the final appearance. The holographic part of "Pribram Looking for Engram" was meant as a symbol for the brain, for thinking and imagining. The art piece refers to the holographic brain theory en vogue at the eighties. (I criticized Pribram's theory in my book "Holographic Art - Perception, Evolution, Future", chapter II. "The Hologram is an Empty, Lifeless Mirror" -

I also integrated embossed holograms that you can buy. The patterns in the emulsion that have been burned by strong light rays or by reflecting metal coating accentuate the film and deliver free another level in the space.

For other holographic models I mounted objets trouvés as a collage and painted them fitting to the red laser light. I always wanted a transformation of the models or even let disappear their true constitution later in the hologram. Taken literally the artifacts of "Future Perfect" are hidden; they are on focus far behind small holes and unfocused far before the level of the holographic film. Only transcending the holes one can see the real model in total. I masked the
master with a collage of black abstract shapes during the first exposure and, after turning around the film, with a correspondent negative mask
during the second exposure on the same master. Two copies of "Future Perfect" are exhibited as an orthoscopic and pseudoscopic diptych. They are visually very complex and a challenge for perception; I could not imagine the phenomenon before seeing the copies. It's interesting, if an artist needs a week to understand her own art work.......

"Pribram Looking for Engram" clearly illustrates the nature of holography as the inherent artistic problem, that means the discrepancy between the two dimensional film as a medium and the three dimensional holographic image. Having the catalogue of traditional disciplines in your mind the question is:"Should I treat the hologram as a painter or
as a sculptor?" Referring to the material aspect one could frame the reflection hologram and hang it on the wall. I never did it - except with one series including "Future Perfect" in 1988. "Pribram" contains both artistic means, painting and sculpture. The three pulse holograms on both sides are combined with verre églomisé technique inside the sheets of plexi glass sheltering the holograms. But even a painting that goes perfect with the holographic image cannot resolve the contrast between 2D and 3D. The transformator and the cables for the neon that enlightens the head like an aura are exposed in a case of plexi glass provoking the impression of an
artificial head or robot contrasting the concept of imagination.

To hide the electric stuff completely inside the holographic sculptures was one option, but sometimes I exposed it like here. This wonderful transformator with asphalt surface was probably the last one available! Incorporating the reflection hologram as a surface of geometric sculptures has been another way of integration for several years; since 1991. I left the reflection hologram transparent instead of backing it with black plexi glass. This allows a fusion of real and holographic objects. The installation "Gaia" is reconstructed pseudoscopically on a field of briquets. The coal can be seen through the holographic artifacts floating in the air;briquets and artifacts are melting visually and symbolically.

For the installation "Materia Trascendente" in the cloister of San Salvatore in Florence I tried to go further in a sculptural sense. One of the three black painted wooden cones de facto comes through the hologram on top of it. The holographic image appears in the space between film and cone and over the ground floor. I think an artist really has to love ambivalence to find an artistic solution for the holographic paradox!

The most exciting transformation for me has always been the pseudoscopic
distortion. I studied the Denisyuk holograms in comparison to their
models to understand possible transformations and to learn how to build
the adequate model.
It started with a heavy irritation: When I called Prof. Dr. Gutjahr and asked him about the pseudoscopic effect that I did not yet know. He told me to turn around the pulse portrait of George; with the ear piece between ear and shoulder I tilted the film close to my eyes: George looked horrible! Again! Because the lesson of my first holographic art piece "Cartesian Portrait of a Young Painter" had already been that the holographic George is larger than obviously seen; the area of all "Georges" stored simultaneously all over the emulsion is enormous.
Therefore I say that the virtual head is monstrous". (see "Holographic Art - Perception, Evolution, Future, chapter I,1 "The Metaphysical
Monster" www. The phenomenon of distortion played an important role for several
holographic objects and led finally to a holographic discovery and invention.

The increasing elongations and deviations became essential for two art pieces referring to Leonardo's drawing of a baby which is considered the oldest documented anamorphosis, dated approximately about 1485. Originally I had been interested to see if an anamorphic model also functions in three dimensions, but later I was wondering about the relation between anamorphic and pseudoscopic phenomenons. The holographic tests in the "Museum of Holography and New Visual Media" in Pulheim near Cologne were so promising that I made a relievo. The head of the baby is surrounded by abstract real structures completed by a trompe l'oeil painting for additive illusionary convex and concave holes. The edition of holograms is framed in large plexi glass cases that I painted inside like marble. "Leonardo's Baby" was created in
1985, that means 500 years after Leonardo's drawing. The art piece looks beautiful, but doesn't really work as the intended anamorphosis. After pestering with questions Andreas Neusser who made the hologram I modeled two heads of the baby mirrored and inclined with architectural elements around them. Finally Daniel Weiss made the Denisyuk hologram of "Holographic Anamorphosis for L.d.V." in La Coruna in Spain with a different setting on the table. Viewed from the right side the right face turns into pure profile while the left face stretches to two or three times its original size and vice versa.
Cutting the film into three pieces and turning around the architectural
parts above and below the faces one can see other distortions appearing
there. This time the anamorphoses are really generated by holography. (I analysed and described all the conditions of modeling and holography in the article "Studies on Holographic Anamorphosis: 500 Years After", Leonardo, Vol.22, No.3/4, pp. 379-82.

"Terrene Holosphere" has been created for the 2nd Biennial in Nagoya '91. It was like a summary of my former experiences, attempting a synthesis of holography, sculpture and environmental painting.Transparent reflection holograms are covering four steal hemispheres with a diameter of 60 cm; the inside of these half "globes" are black painted. I made one model in a hotel in Madrid with plaster and other materials (including a cooked percebes), because the pulse lab of Daniel Weiss was actually there. Rob Monday in London managed the two copies on round glass which was difficult to handle. I built a second model with technical artifacts in Cologne and carried it to Prof. Boone in Gent for large Denisyuk holograms.

The two motifs for nature and technology are displayed both orthoscopic
and pseudoscopic; that means two times the holographic images are inside
and two times outside the hemispheres which look empty as well depending
on the viewing angle. Interesting is the orthoscopic version of the copy "nature" that reveals the master as a bright image in 30 cm distance under the film level.
Surrounding the hologram one can see the whole "garden" behind the master window. Instead of being hidden in the lab the master becomes officially an essential part of the art work.

If I would not have got a key board as a gift, I would not have created the music holograms. After three years of piano lessons I was introduced by the composer Hans w. Koch to the "Funktionsanalyse" for a basic
understanding of the harmony of Bach's Prelude in C Major of the Well Tempered Clavier, Part I. I invented my own color language to visualize the harmonic system and converted at first the music piece of Bach into this color: tone system, later for comparison the Preludes in C Major of Chopin, Busoni and Scriabin and an early 12-tone study by Webern. At the same time, in 1993, the institut ILB at the Fachhochschule Köln developed the professional production of large and bright HOE films, composed of hundreds or thousands of holographic optical elements in a size of e.g. two by one centimeters. Prof. Dr. Gutjahr was open again to an artistic application of the technology. I chose Bach's Prelude in C Major, Webern's Study "Klavierstück" and my "Extended Circle of Fifths"
for the chromatic notation in holography. The institute completed and improved the exposure system and the computer soft ware, because we needed more angles for the twelve tones (=colors) and last not least a constancy of colors, independent of their position. If the holograms are reconstructed one can see the intended colors of the chromatic notation from a calculated viewing point. My first studies of two dimensional holograms was based on the holographic optical elements as "singles". (See also: Leonardo Music Journal, Vol.5, 1995, pp. 5-10: "Chromatic Notation of Music: Transforming Bach and Webern into Color and Light";


HOEs are in fact very large pixels in rainbow colors. This does not sound painterly to an artist, but they can be nice for abstract compositions or symbolic ornaments. I made e.g. proposals with symbolic ornaments for a 25 m long ceiling of an electricity company building and for a glass wall in the National Theatre of Kuala Lumpur. To get more detailed figuration I used again masks; this time I painted with a special black felt pen on a special transparent foil which was lying on the holographic film during the exposure. For "An Orderly Chaos" I
painted a positive mask for the first exposure and a negative mask the
second exposure intending different colors. Contrasting pure colors are
allow clearer shapes than mixed colors obtained by double exposure, except magenta, and blank film which had been masked twice looks black. "An Orderly Chaos" has been created for "Art Special: Hansa 1996" taking place in the whole gymnasium at Cologne (see Thinking of the life of teachers and their pupils I created a wild collage of the constitutional elements of school: In a well defined
composition of overlapping color fields there are a lot of objects of natural sciences like the DNA spiral or the mechanics of a jumping spider and a magic square with symbols instead of figures. This order of science is undermined by graffiti (mainly) of the girl's toilette which uncover "the underground of desires".
The realisation of these masks was a little bit difficult, because I had to deal with constantly changing colors in this jungle of crossing teaching objects and figures of fun. HOE holograms are very bright and far reaching. The Prelude of Bach was shining in 80 meters distance during the first exhibition. Unfortunately
I forgot to check next time, if it could be seen through the glass wall of the KÖLN KUNST 1995 from the other side of the river Rhine......

But I could realize this idea in September 1998 in the cavity of the Deutzer Bridge in the Heart of Cologne. In a synthesis of the arts seven artists tried to feature all the architectonic peculiarities of this unique space under the carriageway. In the first room of "Praise of the Shadow" a laser projection moving forth and back let the people obviously slide away though they were standing; on several places on the northern walls cars and trams of the next bridge were darting headfirst like tiny toys, because the whole bridge is functioning as a huge camera
obscura....After more than 300 meters walk through the light of images in the darkness of the bridge people entered the third room realizing a glowing colorful gate at the end in 120 meters distance: "CCAA" is a hologram about the first half millennium of "Colonia Claudia Ara
Agrippinensium". The bright hologram covered the opening of the exit
completely. Coming closer the meaning of the colour composition reveals:
a cross of a blue blue and a red line symbolizes the river and the bridge accentuating the actual situation of the people: having crossed the Rhine they are "facing" the former Roman fort whereas a formation of Barbarian shoes in Deutz just transcends the river - depicted on the upper part of the hologram. Several contrasting color fields in the lower part of the hologram refer to historical sites like the Roman Forum and a temple or the first Christian Church. The color concept is calculated for a distance of about 25 meters, the figurative details of the image can be seen coming closer with permanently changing colors: the head of Agrippina who founded the city in 50 AD, the head of
Constantin who built the first bridge in Cologne in 315 AD and many objects of daily life, work, religion and war reminding the cultural development of the Roman, Christian and Barbarian past of the city of Cologne.

For many years my art in holography was four dimensional, if we take in account the time of the "holographic dance" in front of the reflection or transmission holograms. Working with the transmission type of holographic optical elements one has to define the third dimension as a distance between viewer and hologram not as depth within the hologram itself. And the spectral colors of light on your palette are all rectangular like very big pixels. This technology brings me back to the drawing table planning the color concept and painting the masks.
The photo engineers in the lab calculate the geometry and write a program for the computer of the laser. When the film and the mask are on the table of the holography lab and the laser starts, they can go - "CCAA" has e.g. 5.412 exposures because of the two masks.

These transmission holograms resemble stained glass windows illuminated
by the sun. Exposing them free in the space of an exhibition room with the light on the wall behind it would be like taking the windows of St. Peter in Cologne out of the wall and hanging them in the nave of the cathedral. HOE are predestinated for environmental art.


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